From Denali in Alaska at more than 20 thousand feet, to Britton Hill in Florida at 345 feet above sea level, every state has a high point.
Since the mid-1980's hundreds of intrepid hikers and explorers have shared the goal of reaching every high point in every state. There's even a High Pointers Club.
We join a High Pointers member on a trip to Virginia's highest point. Adam Wood, a 30-year old Roanoke native is close to completion. At 5729 feet above sea level, Mt. Rogers is a rather unassuming mountain; its summit is covered in trees and the high point is marked by a bronze government plaque on top of a boulder.
While the views on Mt. Rogers are much better and broader on the mountain’s lower slopes, Wood said, "There's definitely something to be said for the beauty of the forest up here. Just a chance to kind of relax in the solitude."
Mt. Rogers is one of 43 high points Wood has hiked or driven too. He's a member of the High Pointers Club; about 3000 strong, all with the avocation of setting foot on all of the high points in either all 50 states, or at least the continental 48.
Wood figures about a third of the high points can be reached by car, with the rest requiring a hike.
"You have high points like Kansas, where you drive up to a farmer's property and to a sign and get your picture taken. There's quite a diversity of options," he explained.
Adam has some of the toughest climbs ahead to complete his high points quest, including guided technical ascents in Alaska, Idaho, Washington, Montana and Wyoming.
Those diverse opportunities, he says, is what keeps him traveling and exploring the high points. As of July 2011, 214 people had reached the high points of all 50 states, and more than 400 had touched those hallowed points in the lower 48. For more on the High Pointers club and the highest points in each state check out these web links or listen to Adam Wood describe his favorite high points.